Eating a salad on a cold, snowy day may seem counter-intuitive.
But what about a warm veggie salad?
Bright, happy colours and warm goodness. Perfect.
But before we get to the recipe,
Why eat orange food?!
What gives our fruits and veggies such beautiful colours are compounds known as: CAROTENOIDS.
Orange and yellow pigment is brought to you by the carotenoids: LUTEIN and ALPHA/BETA CAROTENE (that should be read with a Kermit the Frog voice, by the way).
LUTEIN: This carotenoid is mainly concentrated in the peripheral part of your retina. Lutein is linked to optimal vision and has been shown to lessen macular degeneration (age-related vision loss) due to damage to the retina. This guy also helps your skin by keeping it hydrated.
ALPHA/BETA CAROTENE: These carotenoids convert retinol into the active form of VITAMIN A. This is used by the body to protect cells from free radical damage, enhances your immune system and supports a healthy reproductive system.
**It is important to remember that carotenoids are fat soluble. This means that they need to be eaten with some healthy fat. So, for example, your red tomato sauce will serve you better if you add some extra virgin olive oil to it, or finish it with a swirl of flax seed oil**
ROASTED SWEET PEPPERS AND CARROTS WITH HAZELNUTS AND PUMPKIN SEEDS.
(adapted from Whole Living Magazine)
2 orange peppers, halved and seeded
8 medium carrots, trimmed, scrubbed and halved lengthwise (don't peel them!)
4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or grapeseed oil
coarse sea salt (at least 3/4 teaspoon) and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup goat cheese
1/2 cup hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds (pepitas - shelled. The green ones!)
2 Tablespoons sherry vinegar
1 Tablespoon honey
oranges - navel and/or clementine
Preheat oven to 425. Place the peppers and carrots in a large shallow baking dish (or big bowl) and drizzle 2 Tablespoons of the oil over them. Sprinkle 3/4 teaspoon of salt and 8-10 grinds of pepper over top. Toss until coated evenly and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Roast for at least 20 minutes - until golden brown. Flip them halfway through.
In the meantime, put the hazelnuts and seeds in a pan over med-high heat. Shake them a bit, just to dry toast them a little.
Divide the veggies on 4 plates, sprinkle the nuts and seeds over them along with crumbled feta.
Whisk together the remaining oil, the vinegar and honey - along with a couple of pinches of salt and a few grinds of pepper. Adjust the flavour to your liking.
Drizzle over the veggies. Slicing up some orange and adding to the plate is very pretty, so go for it. Especially if you are looking to impress some guests!!
This recipe sounded so weird that I was compelled to make it (afterall, like attracts like.)
SMOKED ALMOND AND CHICKPEA SALAD SAMMIES.
"You don't even know about this sandwich. Like goddamn, we can't even......just fucking make it. Trust."
As a not so big a fan of liquid smoke, the new name is ALMOND AND CHICKPEA SALAD SAMMIES, but I will give you both the original recipe (in black) and then my changes (in purple).
Ingredients for almonds:
2 1/2 teaspoons liquid smoke no thank you! I omitted.
1/2 teaspoon olive oil 1 teaspoon extra virgin cold pressed olive oil (not to be pompous, it's just way better for you)
1 teaspoon soy sauce, Tamari or Bragg's 2 teaspoons Tamari
1 teaspoons maple syrup 3 teaspoons
2 teaspoons nutritional yeast 3 teaspoons
* this is a flaky substance that offers an excellent, much needed source of b12 for vegetarians who don't get enough (since the big source is animal meat). It has a pungent, Parmesan cheese type flavour. Pretty yummy sprinkled on Kale chips or popcorn. Once opened, keep it in the fridge. You can find it in the Natural Value dept. of your grocery store or any health food store and it looks like this:
1 teaspoon of smoked paprika didn't have smoked, just used paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
3/4 cup raw almonds Nut allergy? Try pumpkin or sunflower seeds. Increase to 1 cup
1/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt
3 cups cooked chickpeas 1 19 oz. can organic chickpeas drained and rinsed
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup chopped red onion diced 1/2 a red onion
1/3 cup chopped fresh dill used cilantro, but I don't think you need either
1/3 cup chopped celery 2 ribs of the PC organic celery hearts (they are smaller)
1-2 teaspoons of your favourite hot sauce 2 teaspoons minimum!
1/2 teaspoon salt 3/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt
ground pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease a baking sheet. Lined baking sheet with parchment paper instead (way cleaner, but not to be mistaken for wax paper!).
To make almonds: Mix together all the liquid ingredients in a small bowl and combine the nutritional yeast, paprika and garlic powder in a separate bowl. WHY? I added everything to one bowl and whisked it all together. Why dirty two bowls.
Throw the almonds in and make sure they are well covered.
Lay them on the baking sheet, toast them for 10 minutes. (it says to stir them and put them in for another 5. Don't bother!)
Take them out and let those sons of bitches cool.
While all that shit is happening, add the chickpeas, avocado and lemon juice to a big bowl and mash the fuck out of them. (I used a potato masher and looked at it as a great bicep/tricep work out. Otherwise, use a food processor! Chickpeas are really annoying to mash. Just saying.)
Some chunks are fine, whatever you like. Fold in the onion, dill (no thanks), celery, hot sauce, salt and pepper and mix it all together. Once the almonds have cooled, chop them up and add them (this is a bit messy). I added more salt and hot sauce. Taste it and season if needed.
Serve up this badass filling on some toasted, clean bread (ACE bakery, Rideau Bakery Rye, Rudolph's, Lebanese pita - any bread with only 4-5 ingredients in it's list) with Dijon mustard, lettuce and tomato. This is best enjoyed the day it's made; it keeps in the fridge but you might lose some of that crunch.
Inner Athlete, Denise, had a great idea: use it to fill the extra celery left over from what you bought for the recipe!
My husband, Josh, had a great idea too. Make them into patties and lightly fry them in a small amount of grapeseed, extra virgin olive oil, or coconut oil. Serve with or on top of greens.
Okay, so it is a bit odd, but strangely addictive. Try it and let me know what you think. ;)
For some of you, this post will be a great reminder of why you do what you do! For others, it will hopefully inspire you to bring strength training into your fitness routine.
Here are 10 Reasons You Should Start Lifting Weights Today from Women’s Health Magazine (Feb. 2014)
Don't forget how amazingly strong and fabulous you feel after, too!!
Weight lifting can help you lose the fat, build muscle, and so much more. Here's why you should do it!
article by: CHRIS SHIPMAN
You'll Lose 40 Percent More Fat
If you think cardio is the key to blasting belly fat, keep reading: When Penn State researchers put dieters into three groups—no exercise, aerobic exercise only, or aerobic exercise and weight training—they all lost around 21 pounds, but the lifters shed six more pounds of fat than those who didn't pump iron. Why? The lifters' loss was almost pure fat; the others lost fat and muscle.
Other research on dieters who don't lift shows that, on average, 75 percent of their weight loss is from fat, while 25 percent is from muscle. Muscle loss may drop your scale weight, but it doesn't improve your reflection in the mirror and it makes you more likely to gain back the flab you lost. However, if you weight train, you'll protect your hard-earned muscle and burn more fat.
Your Clothes Will Fit Better
Research shows that between the ages of 30 and 50, you'll likely lose 10 percent of your body's total muscle. Worse yet, it's likely to be replaced by fat over time, says a study. And that increases your waist size, because one pound of fat takes up 18 percent more space than one pound of muscle.
You'll Burn More Calories
Lifting increases the number of calories you burn while your butt is parked on the couch. That's because after each strength workout, your muscles need energy to repair their fibers. In fact, researchers found that when people did a total-body workout with just three big-muscle moves, their metabolisms were raised for 39 hours afterward. They also burned a greater percentage of calories from fat compared with those who didn't lift.
Lifting gives you a better burn during exercise too: Doing a circuit of eight moves (which takes about eight minutes) can expend 159 to 231 calories. That's about what you'd burn if you ran at a 10-mile-per-hour pace for the same duration.
You'll Handle Stress Better
Break a sweat in the weight room and you'll stay cool under pressure. Scientists determined that the fittest people exhibited lower levels of stress hormones than those who were the least fit. Another study found that after a stressful situation, the blood pressure levels of people with the most muscle returned to normal faster than the levels of those with the least muscle.
You'll Be Happier
Researchers found that people who performed three weight workouts a week for six months significantly improved their scores on measures of anger and overall mood.
You'll Build Stronger Bones
As you age, bone mass goes to pot, which increases your likelihood of one day suffering a debilitating fracture. The good news: A study found that 16 weeks of resistance training increased hip bone density and elevated blood levels of osteocalcin—a marker of bone growth--by 19 percent.
Your Heart Will Be Healthier
Researchers at the University of Michigan found that people who did three total-body weight workouts a week for two months decreased their diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number) by an average of eight points. That's enough to reduce the risk of a stroke by 40 percent and the chance of a heart attack by 15 percent.
You'll Be Way More Productive
Lifting could result in a raise (or at least a pat on the back from your boss). Researchers found that workers were 15 percent more productive on days they exercised compared with days they didn't. So on days you work out, you can (theoretically) finish in eight hours what would normally take nine hours and 12 minutes. Or you'd still work for nine hours but get more done, leaving you feeling less stressed and happier with your job--another perk reported on days workers exercised.
You'll Live Longer
University of South Carolina researchers determined that total-body strength is linked to lower risks of death from cardiovascular disease and cancer. Similarly, other scientists found that being strong during middle age is associated with "exceptional survival," defined as living to the age of 85 without developing a major disease.
You'll Be Even Smarter
Muscles strengthen your body and mind: Brazilian researchers found that six months of resistance training enhanced lifters' cognitive function. In fact, the sweat sessions resulted in better short- and long-term memory, improved verbal reasoning, and a longer attention span.
Why this recipe:
Perfect for this colder weather.
Perfect for lunch, dinner, snacking or breakfast.
Yes, breakfast (time to think outside the cereal box) - why not? It has protein, fibre, complex carbohydrates, clean ingredients and cleansing lemon juice.
Lentils offer both soluble and insoluble fibre. Soluble fibre is a gel-like substance that grabs onto bad stuff (like toxins and bad cholesterol) in the digestive tract and carries it out of the body. Insoluble fibre not only helps prevent constipation by adding bulk to your poop [gross, I know], but also acts like a broom, sweeping out your digestive system. Giving it a good cleaning, so to speak. This leads to a very healthy body and mind. This extra fibre helps regulate blood sugar levels, too.
Lentils are an excellent source of B vitamins and magnesium. These nutrients lead to a very calm body. It's like your entire inside breathes a big sigh of relief and relaxes. When the body relaxes, the flow of blood, oxygen and nutrients runs smoothly. It is all very positive stuff :)
The lemon juice in the soup is a gentle cleanser for your liver and helps to alkaline your blood (very important if you live in the world we live in today. Acidity is created by chronic stress [hello], coffee, alcohol, wheat, prescription drugs, lack of sleep.......you know - LIFE.)
PLUS: It is super easy to make and is super quick. Awesome.
LEMONY RED LENTIL SOUP:
*The original recipe is here - in purple are the adjustments I made.
1 teaspoon olive or coconut oil 1 tablespoon - 1 teaspoon was not enough.
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1 russet potato, peeled and cut into cubes about the size of dice. Don't peel your potatoes. Most nutrients are found in the peel or directly under it. I used a Yukon Gold so the peel was more tender and cleaner.
1 carrot, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced. I put in 4 as I find most recipes never have enough of this anti-oxidant rich gem.
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin. I put in 1 teaspoon and still think it could have used more.
1/4 teaspoon salt. Put in 1/2 teaspoon - you may even need to add more at the end. Please don't fear salt in homemade recipes. Our bodies need sodium. Stay away from ridiculously high levels, of course....like canned soups, processed foods, fast food - you know where that shit is.
2 cups red lentils, rinsed
6 cups vegetable broth. Organic is best. Could be chicken stock, if you aren't a vegetarian.
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest. Definitely not enough! I zested a whole lemon and threw that in there.
1 Tablespoon lemon juice. Definitely not enough!! Juice of one whole lemon FOR SURE. I mean, it is LEMONY soup after all. Jeez.
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional). Unless you hate cilantro, this is not optional. It is necessary :)
Heat the oil in a large pot. Add the onion and saute until soft. Add the potato and carrot. Saute for another few minutes then add the garlic, coriander and cumin. Stir until the coriander and cumin are well combined with the veggies. Add salt, lentils and broth. If you find that you have some stuff sticking to the bottom of your pan, slowly add the broth before the lentils and salt. As you add it, stir with a wooden spoon and 'scrape' the stuff off the bottom of your pot.
Let it simmer, uncovered for about 15 minutes (until lentils are soft). Stir just once in awhile. Turn off the heat and add the zest and juice. Adjust seasoning to taste.
If you like chunky soup. Stop there. If not, blend it for a smoother variety. "It's your soup, so own that shit".
Top with cilantro.
"Big ass cup of cozy".
This soup feels great. You can sense your body relaxing with every spoonful. It fills you up with goodness. Have it first thing in the morning - it will start you day off right.
Have it as a snack. A cup of this heated up will keep you satisfied until your next meal.
Lunch or dinner with a salad and a piece of clean, crusty baguette - COME ON. How great is that?
Why, yes. Yes it could.
As a woman who uses profanity on a regular basis (ahem), this cook book was recognized by many as a perfect match for Inner Athletes. Thanks to all who sent the link to the commercial (special shout out to Cynthia Brady who did so waaaaay back in September, prompting me to pre-order for October 7th!)
Here is the link, in case you missed it:
So - I will be posting recipes from this cookbook and giving my two cents worth of adjustments and comments about the food created. In case you don't know, I am a Registered Holistic Nutritionist - graduated from the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition in 2004. I am telling you this so you know that I will be choosing recipes that offer the best nutrition for you and your family with an educated opinion.
I will also be basing my choice on ease of recipe and making sure they don't take a lot of your valuable time.
Okay, so the swearing is a bit too much in this book. Shocking coming from me for sure!
However, the recipes are sound and the book is entertaining.
First up: Lemony Red Lentil Soup.
"This isn't that boring brown lentil mush you find in places where food goes to die. We wouldn't do you like that. The spices and lemon makes this some next-level shit that you will actually want to eat."